Permaculture in Action

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Beginning, A Middle and An End

Talking with a dear friend a week ago and she said ."Do you know that everything has a beginning, a middle and an end? " Well I can honestly say that I'd never given it much thought, until now and it's been on my mind ever since she said it. The one thing that came to my mind straight away was life,- The beginning is birth,  in the middle is life experience and death at the end. But does it apply to everything like Nicola said? And what is the implication? I think she said that it was a Buddhist statement and it was important to remember it to help us focus on our tasks. I could be wrong. I was so caught up with the statement and trying to find the one thing that breaks the rule that I stopped listening to what she was saying. Typical of me!

Anyway it has affected me in numerous ways...Sleeping's not finished until the bed's made
                                                                       A meal's not finished until the dishes are washed AND put away                                          
                                                                       The laundry's not finished until the clothes are put away.

I have found that I approach activities with mindfulness when I know that the activity / work must end.I'm mindful of the beginning- I find this quite easy, I am mindful of the middle while it still requires effort or concentration but I lose it near the end with the consequence that sometimes I don't finish, but there it is, it has to end and what happens is that I carry it around some where in my mind weighing me down til it ends. Sounding a bit like Feng Shui. So over the past week I having been pushing myself to end things and it has had a positive effect.

Preparation- beginning

Cooked- middle

End- Let's eat.

But of course it doesn't finish there.It crosses into all areas of my life. I know that I am mindful of the things I consume. What has been it's beginning- Has it been produced ethically and sustainably ,will it be consumed efficiently ( The middle) and what becomes of the waste at the end. Mindless consumerism thinks very little about any of the 3 stages but especially the beginning and the end.

Relationships. We try hard at the beginning, are present and focused and mindful of the others needs-courtship, then during marriage we can become distracted and lazy and treat it mindlessly which can lead to separation and divorce- an end. Or we can be mindful and keep the relationship going to the end- Death

I see this being connected to will development and maybe something that has been missing in our education.
 Anyway I know I'm prattling on a bit but it has been on my mind.


  1. What a great post. I couldn't sleeep (unusual for me for the most part), laying awake thinking about the things I hadn't finished and then I read this here!

    There's lots missing in our education about a lot of things, but I won't prattle on about that. YOU keep prattling though - love it! xx

  2. Gee, I think that statement is a bit like a song that gets stuck in your head. I know I will be thinking about it all day. But would it make things feel more complete or just add pressure to think like this? I know I have many more beginnings than ends. If I got past my near enough is good enough attitude, I might never get out in the garden. Thought provoking in many ways!

  3. And now I will be pondering this statement for the rest of the night! :) It is a very thought provoking statement and I think I can make a lesson for one of my classes using it. xx

  4. Just about to head off to work teaching and thought I would have 5 mins of blog reading with my coffee. Then I read this ....I shall be thinking about it allllll day. Love the way you think and for me , that end thing often doesn't happen, I think i like the beginnings and the middles too much (hence unmade bed and unwashed dishes!) I will have a great day with deep thinking about your post!

  5. I like to see it more about slowing down and mindfully doing a task, rather than putting ourselves under more pressure. And near enough may be good enough as long as we're not carrying around the thought of not having finished and the end waiting for us when we come back inside. And more about what is the beginning , what is the middle and what is the end. Not rushing to the end but savouring the middle, something lost in society these days I feel.